This bull market, which has been chugging along with some fits and starts since 2009, has been called the least believed bull market in memory. This week it is experiencing one of those fits, with tech stocks under pressure and the naysayers out in force questioning the durability of the so called Trump rally.
There is no disputing the fact that the S&P 500’s advance accelerated with the election and took off after the inauguration. The skeptics cite all sorts of reasons not to get on board: an unconventional president, sluggish economy, elevated stock and bond prices, legislative gridlock and geopolitical upheaval.
This week’s WEALTHTRACK guest says these are typical of the proverbial “wall of worry” that bull markets are known to scale and says there are changes that are not being well covered that could recharge the economy, corporate earnings and the market.
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While legislation has been tough to pass, there has been a string of Trump administration actions repealing rules affecting a broad range of areas from mining to workplace violations, to teacher standards to internet privacy to family planning and savings plans, to name a few.
Under the Obama administration rules and regulations reached record levels. One good measure is the annual page count of the Federal Register, the daily publication of the U.S. Federal government that issues proposed and final administrative regulations of federal agencies.
The Obama administration leads the top 10 list of most pages or regulations in a given year, starting with 2016 when there were 81,640 pages of rules, followed by 2010 when there were 81,405 pages and so on. The administration captured seven of the top ten records for numbers of annual rules and regulations.
According to our guest, Robert Kleinschmidt, even without legislation, less regulation is bullish for business, the economy and markets. Kleinschmidt is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Tocqueville Asset Management, a value oriented wealth management firm devoted to capital appreciation and preservation for its global high net worth clients and institutions.
A small portion of its $11 billion in assets is in its Tocqueville mutual fund, which Kleinschmidt has managed since 1992. The fund has beaten the market and its peers since then with nearly 10% annualized returns vs. the S&P’s just over 9% returns, but along with many other value-oriented funds it has lagged the S&P over the last decade.
I began the interview by asking Kleinschmidt, what, if anything, has changed in the economy and markets in the age of Trump.
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Have a great weekend, a super Fourth of July and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one!